HDR mode on your digital camera makes a huge difference for the perfect amount of exposure in a scene of light and dark elements.

As the name implies, HDR, is a technique that adds more ‘high dynamic range’ to pictures, where dynamic range refers to the ratio between light and darkness in an image. An HDR image is generally created by capturing three (or more) photos of the same scene, each at various shutter speeds. The resulting image is a dark, medium or bright photo depending on the amount of light that makes its way through the lens.

The images are then combined using a software process for bringing details to both highlights and the shadows. You can also create HDR images from a single image, as long as the brightest and the darkest parts of the image are recoverable.

Something you should always keep in mind when capturing images is that the camera does not have the same capabilities as your eyes. When it comes to viewing both dark and bright tones in a scene, your eyes function superiorly as they are equipped with an un-matched technology that enables us to perceive and distinguish tones that no manufactured electronic device can even come close to. This range of colors and tones is termed as “dynamic range” in photography.

You can get stunning pictures using Aurora HDR, our software specifically designed for HDR merging, editing and adjusting. It comes with a new look, offering several innovative tools and improved tone mapping.

Benefits of HDR

Fundamentally, there are two reasons for taking an HDR image: creativity and necessity. HDR allows photographers to click photos that are true to life and allows them to add their personal touches along the way. Our eyes can identify a remarkable range of contrast in a scene. The necessity for HDR arose, as this range is way beyond any digital camera's sensor. The human eye is able to view a scene’s brightly lit areas as well as make out what is happening in the shadows.

Without HDR functionality, if you focus on the bright areas of a scene, most of the details in the shadowy areas will be lost. A common example of this is taking a picture of a well-exposed room interior with the sun blazing through windows. A camera without HDR will fail to capture this image accurately.

However, when you take an HDR image, what you see is what you get. The camera will take a series of exposures most commonly referred to as ‘a bracket’ for capturing both the shadow and highlights. HDR is designed for taking stunningly better-looking images, especially in situations with disproportionate brightness and darkness. It guarantees the finest images when used in these situations:


Huge landscape images generally feature considerable contrast between the land and the sky. This makes it difficult for an ordinary camera to manage all these issues in one image. A digital camera with HDR helps you take pictures with more intricate details without making the sky looking too bright or the land too dark.

You can also be creative and use the various features of Aurora HDR to play with the colors, layers and for adding exaggerated tones to a photograph. The Black and White photography feature of the software allows you to accomplish an incredible scenic view along with offering several other multiple editing features.

Outdoor Portraits

Managing extreme light conditions during outdoor photography can be irksome. While taking an outdoor portrait, excessive light on the subject’s face can result in a bright glare or dark shadows. HDR smoothens out all uneven edges to make your subject shine in the image. Chances are your DSLR camera already has the HDR features built into it and they work automatically.

This implies that for taking an HDR image, all you have to do is to click a single button, and the camera will click a range of images at different exposures automatically. After this, you can transfer the images to a computer where using HDR software you can compile them into a single image.

Editing outdoor portraits in Aurora HDR is simple. With an intuitive toolbar, enhance the skin tone of your subject using several options that are easy to implement. The vignette features clarity and the HDR structure makes the required changes to make your subject prominent in the picture. It does a great job to draw the viewer’s eye away from the distractions in the background and puts all the focus on the subject in the picture.

Situations Where You Should Avoid Using HDR

Even though the benefits of HDR are obvious, there are certain settings in which you are better off capturing images without using HDR. Here are some situations where you should avoid using HDR:


In case the subjects of your images are moving or are about to, using HDR will result in a blurry photo. As mentioned above, HDR takes three pictures. Therefore, if there is motion in the image, using HDR will not deliver the results you are looking for.

High Contrast

Some images look better with stark contrast between the light and dark elements of the photo. If you intend to enhance the image with a silhouette, HDR will diffuse the intensity and the result will be a less fascinating image.

Final Thoughts

HDR is an interesting technology as it represents an intelligent software-driven technique to get the most accurate photos possible using a digital camera. This detailed imagery may otherwise be beyond the capabilities of your camera. HDR has now become a standard measure of performance in today’s digital camera sensors. The more dynamic the range of the camera is, the better is its sensor. When shooting with HDR in mind, it is best to use a tripod, as anything that eliminates the possibility of movement will help you click perfect HDR images.

Moreover, a multi-featured photo editing software, such as Aurora HDR, plays an important role in accomplishing professional looking photographs. Whether you want a vintage look to your photos or wish to experiment with their color tones, the software offers you several options you can use to let your inner creativity shine.

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